Using movement to teach pre-reading skills increases a kinesthetic learner's success.
Kinesthetic learning is a learning style in which learning takes place by the student actually carrying out a physical activity, rather than listening to a lecture or merely watching a demonstration. It is also referred to as tactile learning. People with a kinesthetic learning style are also commonly known as do-ers. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
FOOT PRINTS or LETTER DANCING
Cut out foot shaped cards and print a letter, picture or word on each "foot" depending on the skill to be taught. For example, if you want the children to match capital letters to the corresponding lower case letters, print capital letters on the right foot prints and lower case letters on the left foot prints.
Scatter the foot prints around on the floor, and then have the children step on matching sets of letters. Alternatively, call out a letter or sound and have the children jump to the foot with that letter. You can also do the same thing for sight words.
The children also enjoy being the one to call the letters, sounds or words and have you jump to the corresponding foot print. Making a "mistake" occasionally so that they can "correct" you allows you to test their knowledge while they are supposedly testing yours!
Using sidewalk chalk on the hard surface of the playground, print the letters or sight words in traditional hop scotch squares in place of the numbers. As the children play the game, have them call out the letter or word on the square rather than counting.
TANGLED HANDS AND FEET
Print rows of letters (or sight words) on a plastic or vinyl sheet such as a shower curtain. The vinyl or plastic can be any light color or white, but not transparent unless you are taping the letters or words to the under side of the sheet. Use a washable marker so that you can erase and re-use with different letters or words. (One word of caution: if the children's feet are damp, the marker will come off on their socks! You are using washable marker, so it will come out in the wash. To avoid this, tape letter or word cards to the back of a transparent sheet and read them through the plastic)
Make a pair of dice to indicate right and left, hand and foot. One die has a hand drawn three times and a foot drawn three times to cover every side of the die. The other die is the same, except that it should have either the letters "R" and "L" or the words right and left. Use a stack of cards with the same letters or words that are printed on the vinyl sheet.
The "caller" rolls the dice and draws one card from the deck and tells the players what to do (for example: put your "right" "foot" on the word "the"). The players follow the directions until everyone is so tangled up that someone falls down.
BEACH BALL TOSS
On an inflatable beach ball, print the letters or words in washable marker all over the ball. The children toss the ball to each other, and when they catch the ball, they must say the letter and a word that starts with that letter or the sight word (which ever you have printed on the ball) closest to their left thumb before they can toss it to the next person. An alternate version would be to use a playground ball and bounce it to each player.
Have the children use their bodies (individually or in pairs) to create the shapes of each letter, whether capital or lower case, depending on which one you choose. You can also assist the children in making very large versions of the letters by having everyone in the group participate in the single letter formation. A corresponding activity is to then stand on a ladder above the children to snap a picture of the "letter" they created and create a class alphabet book using these pictures.
SAND PAPER LETTER TRACING
One more kinesthetic learning opportunity is to cut letters out of sand paper and have the children trace the letters with their fingers as they say the letter name.
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